I liked Francis P's article: "You must be 'born again.'." Also I wonder how many of your readers get the same line from old friends. It appears they - and may of us - may have suffered the same flack as we all have. So let's address all this. When I back off from "accepting Christ as my Savior," my ex-friends and their pressure (being saved - of course), they never talk to me again. And I don't care what anyone says - that hurts. They really haven't a clue (like Francis said), at what "born again" really means. They've just parroted it from their hireling. Granted, they're gotta lotta thinking to do, but maybe this is a start. We still love them, but they have nothing but contempt for us.
Some of these buddies of mine have been friends for over twenty years. The only ones who still talk to me are the ones who have PROVED religion to be a farce. I hope to talk to the others intelligently in - however long it takes. Bob Duvall's (my favorite actor) film "Apostle" is an excellent example of what people can do. Bob's character was sincere (I think he shoulda gotta an Oscar), but he was misguided, and so, he misguided the congregations. He sinned, he made mistakes, but he tried. Whatever else you can say, he was sincere. The "Apostle" looked at God at some BIG, POWERFUL man. "What can I do Lord. Tell me what to do, Lord" While Francis correctly brought out that he was sincerely preaching to many (not too well educated folks), and I wonder how much that applies to us today in modern USA? Especially in the Worldwide Church of God+ group. Look at the Jim Jones group. Need we say more. But, back to Worldwide Church of God+. They are being conned by (occasionally) a sincere salesman. When these honest guys will eventually get the message, and act on it, then they'll no longer be "hirelings."
"If you believe in Jesus," then you are of "God." If you even question, then you're possessed by Satan. Isn't it amazing what power Satan has? Da boogey man rules!
The original erratic (PeaceUVLife) letter to the Editor was off the wall. The whole email written in bright red - symbolized that particular letter was being written in blood, whether PeaceUVLife realizes it or not. He wants to dip his pen into a body and write in someone's blood. There's tremendous hatred here. Personally, I don't believe what "Peace" believes or not. That's his/her choice. But . . . .please stop the hatred. It's getting us nowhere. We all have differences. We all have different viewpoints. "God" knows that in the 86 articles I've written, I've had much private and personal hate mail. I've had many who agree, and (more important) those who agree to investigate. That's vital point to one's growth.
Maybe the hate will come out of those who are vicious, and maybe it won't. But as long as they're serious, all of us guys and women will continue to answer the questions, or direct them to a source, as best we can. As I've yelled on this site over and over again . . . THINK. This site has been an education for many, but it's not some, crazy hate site. It's here to OPEN your eyes. The emails confirm that. We are here to HELP people, and EDUCATE them to the "plain truth."
You wanna start to know God? Then as the Editor and me, and a zillion others have screamed. Start with reading Thomas Paine's book "AGE OF REASON." It's available on the Site, and it's downloadable. There's your REAL start. Study the logic here, and forget the religious BS.
Anyone's free to take the info or leave it. But, at least Yo'all have the facts with tons o'back-up proof. The book makes common sense, and it's probable. Also check out the multitude of other GOOD BOOKS that are listed on the site. If you have an argument, then PROVE them wrong. Those authors have already proved facts correct.
On another subject - Jesus Christ.
The word "Jesus" was nothing but a title - nothing more. It's the Greek word for Joshua - the army general who led the Israelites into Palestine. "Jesus" real name was Emmanuel (or Immanuel) ben-Joseph. See Matt 1:23 & Is 8:8. The Jews called Him "Jesus" or "Joshua," because they figured He was gonna be the next Joshua to lead them for freedom from the Roman Empire. But after the early Catholic church got screwing around with the early papyrus writings, they could have called Him, Marta Hari or Gypsy Rose Lee, and the faithful would have believed it.
The writings about such a person were vague.
The Encyclopedia Britannica re-enforces this position that others have called "oral tradition."
founder of Christianity, which today claims a third of the world's population. His deeds and message are recorded in the New Testament. Because of the theological motifs and presuppositions in the faith of the early church, however, it is difficult to write with certainty an authentic life of Jesus.
The early Christians obviously made a composite and possibly modeled "Jesus" after another teacher, or a compilation of many teachers. One that stands out is Apollonius of Tyana. But since Apollonius was of Greek (gentile) heritage, this was "anathema" to the Jewish people. In fact, at that time, there were so many nut cases wandering up and down the Levant, that they gathered all sorts of followings. Anyone who claimed to be the Messiah, King of the Jews, of some sort of prophet, gathered a following, angered the Roman rulership, and eventually found himself nailed to a cross. The Roman corps didn't like any hint of disobedience against Caesar. As a result, the prophets and Messiahs rapidly decreased in number.
The gospels are equally as vague. There is NO reference in Biblical history that any scribes followed this "Jesus" person around. The "Gospels weren't written until STARTING about 40 years after their "Christ's" death. So everything had to be by "world of mouth" - (they called it "oral tradition"), as nothing was documented. Please check the history, including the New Testament sections of the "International Critical Commentary," and the five volume - "Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible." (any library could have these references - or the Internet.) The whole New Testament came from "Oral Tradition," and the later thots of the guys that followed these traditions. Although many of these teachings of "Love your brother as yourself, and "Love each other as I have loved you," would certainly bring peace to the Earth if they were followed, people chose to worship the teacher and forgot the teachings. FORGET THE TEACHER. Whoever delivers the message is not important. It's the message. And the message was love to our fellow man - which 90% of the world ignores today.
The Gospels are also an enigma, since they were written based on "oral tradition," and there's NO proof behind anything that was said. The whole idea of "Do unto others . . ." is valid, because it makes logical sense. But that teaching has been around for years. Check out "What the Buddha taught," bu Dr. Walpola Rahula. Since I'm only a student of comparative religions, I'm NOT anyone "religious." I'm Not a Buddhist. But the Buddhist teaching of love to our fellow man is so identical, you can't help but wonder if they took it from the same manual - even though Buddha lived 500 years before Christ.
Just before 70 AD and the fall of Jerusalem, Mark wrote his "Gospel," based on oral (hearsay) tradition. (The blabber of the last 40 years). Around 78 AD (or some time later), Matthew and Luke wrote theirs. Since they have, and collide with so many similar verses and "Jesus" quotes, the independent Biblical - literary critical - scholars know that they both copied many parts of their "gospels" from another and different and "gospel" writings, and then developed two independent "Gospel" versions, and inserted the plagiarized writings into their own "Gospels". This "middle" Gospel, from which Matthew and Luke stole verbiage, the independent scholars have called "Q." Those independent Biblical scholars have called (or are guessing)) this source as "The Gospel Thomas." I don't know whether they're right or wrong, but Thomas' Gospel supposedly consists of a compilation of the sayings of the Christ. Both Matthew and Luke have used them. Many of the sayings in both gospels match exactly. Much of their "gospels" overlap and are simply redundant.
Another thing. Do we know, or have proof, that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were the apostles or followers of the Christ? It could have been Matthew Schmolkowitz, Mark Revokovitch (an early Russian), and Mark's name could have been the name of the local High Priest's daughter's brother in law's friend's, cousin's, occasional lover. Who knows? Remember that the early Roman Church redacted the scriptures to its own liking. They made their own rules. It's obvious (from literary examination, and a zillion other sources), that the Apostle John never wrote the Gospel of John, or I John. While he possibly wrote II & III John, he never wrote the previous. The literary style is too different and the theology has too much of a different thinking. I John is a "scissors and paste" mess (probably from Catholic Church redacting), and who knows the person that wrote the "Book of Revelation." The author has been ID'd as "John." But John WHO? Was it John the Apostle? Or was it John Frankenstein? John Degenerate? Or was it John FLFIRVMLKZSFMVM'SFFF.:" Who knows? It's just assumed that this guy was John the Apostle.. There's no proof. This "John" supposedly wrote his stuff around 90 AD.
In actual fact, it can be shown that this guy may have written II & III John, and "maybe" the Book of Revelation. No one can know for sure. He never wrote the Gospel of John, or I John - and it you study the Bible record (from a literary criticism point of view), it becomes obvious.
"John" never wrote the Gospel of John, or I John. So, who the hell wrote the Book of Revelation? Also, who wrote the "gospels" of Matthew, Mark, and Luke?. Maybe we should ask the Catholic Church about that "HONEST" info. Maybe they'll typically do the hoochie-coochie dance of the scuffle-shuffle. Just a thot. But, I guarantee you, that you won't get a truthful answer.
So much for "The Word of God."
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